Diane Webster 11 May 2007
That she came on holiday to Portugal with the group which included MADELEINE, this group composed of nine adults and eight children. As to the purpose of the individuals in the above mentioned group, she explains that they are united [together] in four couples (among them was her daughter FIONA and son-in-law DAVID), and their children.
– Concerning her relationship with the members of that group, adds that she would have no direct relationship with them as they are individuals close to the PAYNE couple.
– She thought the PAYNE couple started a relationship of friendship, insofar as her son-in-law, David, had attended the university together with RUSSELL, which will have been extended to two other couples (McCANN and O’BRIEN), because the members of those couples, except for RACHEL and JANE, were [also] practicing doctors.
– Asked, she states that it is the first time that she has been on holiday with that group, knowing, however, that some of those couples have already spent holidays together on other occasions.
– With regard to this trip she explains that she thought all details of the trip to Portugal were handled by her daughter, Fiona; together with her husband David, and aided by the tour operator “MARC WARNER, via Internet.
– She states that she came on holiday at the invitation of her daughter FIONA and son-in-law DAVID – Adding that she does not know the reasons why Portugal was chosen, nor why Praia da Luz and the “Ocean Garden Club” in particular.
– She states that she made her own reservation, only with regard to the plane, via Intemet, unlike the other members of the group, whose reservations had been made through the PAYNE couple. Asked, she explains that never before had she been in Portugal, being sure that the first time that she was here was this present holiday. That the whole group arrived in Portugal on April 28 and they have also been housed in the tourist resort buildings identified above, as initially planned. Because she was asked, she clarified that she had stayed in apartment 5H, together with the PAYNE family and their daughters (Lilly, two years, and Scarlett, one year).
– Prompted about the routine during the holiday period, she clarifies that she usually took breakfast in their apartment, since the Restaurant “MILLENNIUM” was quite removed from the building in which she was staying.
– Still, she explains, on May 2, the eve of disappearance of MADELEINE she had taken her breakfast in the restaurant “MILLENNIUM”, since it was raining that day and she did not have an opportunity to partake of the morning sports.
She added that in the days preceding the disappearance of Madeleine, after breakfast she would play sport (especially tennis), after which she would go to the supermarket BATISTA to make the purchases for lunch. In return, she points out that several families who made up the group met in the PAYNE’s apartment to have lunch together, explaining that this was due to the fact that it is the larger apartment.
– After lunch the children took a nap, usually staying in her care, since they [the adults] went with the PAYNEs to continue with, together, the leisure activities to which the holidays were dedicated. The purpose of those activities, it is clear, that it was usual to go to the beach, pool and practice several sports monitored by the resort. Also she went to the beach at times with the Paynes and the children when they were not at the Kids Club.
– In the late afternoon, from 16.45 to 17.30, the children had dinner at Restaurant “TAPAS”, after which they were taken to the apartment to prepare for sleep, which usually occurred at 19:00. That said, the family PAYNE, the deponent included, prepared for the dinner that usually occurred around 20.45 in the restaurant “TAPAS.” The question asked, she added that the restaurant always reserved the same table for the group at the only table that was capable of seating a group composed of nine people. Asked, she states that, although it is positioned in front of the balconies at the rear of the residential block, the angle of vision can not permit full control over possible access by people to the interior of ground-floor apartment patios that are there – especially since the restaurant is covered by a transparent oilcloth which hampers vision. Asked who has done the booking of the restaurant, says that it has been done by RACHEL, explaining that although the dinner is scheduled for 20:30, the group never gathered before 2OH45/21HOO due to successive delays of several couples.
– The question asked, regarding the fact that, possibly, on the first day it was RUSSELL who had made the reservation at the restaurant, she admits that as possible, although she cannot be sure which of the two (RACHEL or RUSSELL) would have done it. Prompted, she says that, from memory, the dinners usually ended around 23:00 the time at which they returned to their apartments where they slept. Concerning May 3, the date of the occurrence of the facts now under investigation, she states that she did the things she has generally described above being unaware of anything, nor having seen anything, that might relate to the disappearance of Madeleine.
– Prompted to report the events that had unfolded in period between 19H00 and 22H40 of that day, the deponent states that around 19:00 she had gone together with the Payne couple and their children to the apartment in order to prepare them for bed. Then, as usual, the adults prepared themselves for dinner. In this matter, she recalled that they had been late with these preparations because they only managed to get to Restaurant around 21.00.
– Asked, she adds that she went to the restaurant in the company of her daughter and son-in-law.
– Asked directly if someone had gone to her apartment to call them (herself and the PAYNE couple) for dinner the witness said no.
– Asked if there was the possibility of having crossed paths with someone during the journey between her apartment and restaurant, the witness said no.
– That night she judges to have arrived at the restaurant close to 21:00, in the company of the PAYNE couple.
– That, at that time, the whole group were at the restaurant. The witness did not recall, but thinks that perhaps Gerald and MATT had not been in the restaurant along with the other members of the group.
– In this regard, asked specifically whether, on the journey to the restaurant, if they had passed either of the two individuals described in the preceding paragraph, she answered categorically not.
– Questioned about the members who, during the dinner, had absented themselves from the restaurant, the witness says that, as she recalls, there were some people who left, failing to identify which, except for RUSSELL who had left the restaurant and taken a little more time than usual due to, from what she knows, his daughter had been sick.
– Asked, she states that it would be normal for one member of each of the couples to get up regularly in order to check in their apartments if the children were well. She clarifies that the practice was for each couple to check their own children, it not being usual for anyone to check the children of other couples.
– The question asked, she thinks that up to the date of the disappearance it had never happened that anyone had entered the apartment of another couple in order to check their offspring. Nevertheless, it seems that the couple PAYNE and the witness, did not make any trips to apartments, because they had an intercom called the “baby monitor”, through which sounds or noises of the children could be heard.
– Prompted to state for the record the movements that occurred that night, during the above dinner, the witness reiterated that she could not say specifically who had left nor when they had done so.
– Therefore, she can only say with precision that, at 22.00 Kate McCann returned to the restaurant, seemingly in panic, communicating to others the fact that of Madeleine’s disappearance. Asked about the reaction of other members of the group when they heard the above from KATE, the witness says that everyone, except the witness, left the restaurant and went to the apartment of the couple McCANN in order to find out what was going on.
In turn, as relates to her, the witness says she stayed at the restaurant for about five minutes, then, noting that the remaining members of the group had not returned, she followed in the direction of the apartment McCANN.
– In that apartment she found that KATE was completely in panic, in “state of shock “.
– Because she was asked, she states that she entered the apartment by the sliding glass door of the patio at the back, which gives access to the lounge. Then she went to the children’s bedroom, noting that there she found KATE and the twin siblings of MADELEINE
– She added that she did not remember too much detail about the scenario that she found in that bedroom, other that what she said above. However, she states that KATE had repeatedly commented that, on arriving at the bedroom, she had found the
window of the room, with its shutter, both open. Yet, she [DW] did not notice, while at the entrance to the room, if the window was or was not open.
– However, she wants to stress that immediately afterwards, she went outside the apartment in order to ascertain whether she would be able to raise the shutters by hand from the outside, and found it was impossible for her. Consequently she infers that at the time of her arrival at the apartment the window would have been closed.
– Because she was asked, she says she does not know if the window, and the shutter, of the couple’s bedroom were open or not, in that she did not enter that room.
– Prompted about the conditions of light inside the apartment at the time, the witness believes that they were good, judging that the lights were lit and she recalls no darkness. Regarding the bedroom previously occupied by Madeleine, she does not remember if the lights were lit, but knows that when she entered the twins were still sleeping in their beds, which makes her think that maybe those lights were switched off. She added that, for her to see the twins and their cradles, and the bed of MADELEINE, the darkness would not be complete, but that the room had some coming from the light of the lounge.
– She adds that that night, and after the occurrence of the facts under investigation, have been in the the apartment on two separate occasions. At the time described above she remained about 10 minutes in the apartment. After this time she returned to the restaurant to get her handbag as well as the camera of the couple McCANN and “baby monitor” of her daughter, and was soon back again in the apartment.
– The question being asked about the people that were inside the apartment of McCANN at that time, the witness said that the McCANN couple were present (although on the first occasion she had no recollection of having seen GERRY), and FIONA, not remembering any other people that were there. However, she admits the possibility of their being [others] inside the apartment, including David, in that, as mentioned above, all of them had gone to the apartment following the news that KATE had given.
– The question asked, she states to know that male members of the group undertook a search around [outside] the apartment to try to locate Madeleine, which was absolutely fruitless. The deponent states that FIONA had asked her to move to their daughters to make sure that everything would be well with them, hence the deponent will have returned to her apartment from which she did not leave.
– Asked, she states to be unaware of any type of problems affecting the family, professional, loving, etc., for any of the group members, either in our country or anywhere else in the world.
– She does not know if any of the group members knows anyone residing in Portugal, particularly in the Algarve, or anyone who has been here on holiday in the same period.
– Prompted she says that during these holidays all group members made their movements on foot, denying that any of them had rented cars or that they could possibly have driven cars of others, [nor that] they were occasionally available.
– She adds that none of the group members left the village of Praia da Luz.
– During that period, as far as she is aware, none of the group had formed any kind of acquaintance or relationship with other persons.
– Prompted, she explains that in all the dinners during the holidays only members of the group had participated, never having any strangers with them at the table that they usually occupied.
– Asked, she says that in the days leading up to the disappearance of MADELEINE, or at any other time, she neither saw nor found any abnormal situation that could by itself be interpreted as having any correlation with the facts of the investigation.